Update: Maidless


(Update to original post: Maidless)

A few days after our maid quit, only a couple days after we’d paid her out her vacation, future X-mas bonus, etc, she called to ask for her job back.

Now, if this were a movie, the audience would be yelling “Just give the poor woman her job back!” (This imagery is how I make most of my important decisions.)

There are a few factors to consider in this situation. First, I’m a big believer in never looking back. Don’t go back to boyfriends you’ve broken up with, don’t go back to companies that you’ve left, don’t go back to restaurants that made you sick… you get it. Do people deserve a second chance? You betcha! Just not from the same entities with which they blew their first chance. There are just too many moving parts in the world to try to make something work that didn’t work the first time. But this is just my own, personal philosophy. (And yes, I understand I will regret this statement the first time I need a second chance, but darn it, I’m gonna do everything I can to avoid that situation.)

However, the opposing, second factor to consider is the economic situation of the subject in question. Sure, I’m accustomed to people losing or leaving their jobs. People who spent careers in one of the highest paying industries in what was one of the highest paying cities in the world. People whose business was based in investing and most of the time invested their disposable income rather wisely. I’m not accustomed to a situation in which I am directly involved in a party being unemployed who may not be able to buy shoes this year (ok, I don’t know if this is the case, but you get where I’m going).

However, it came down to, as it always does and always will, our daughter. As two people who both came from a childhoods plump with chaos and conflict, we do our best to protect our daughter from chaos and conflict. Having people coming and going is both confusing and anxiety creating for a little one, a little one who was dropped into a confusing new world just over a year ago. Sure, the same face around the house instead of a new one MIGHT be a better decision, but not if the situation is laced with a new sense of mistrust and resentment. Which, let’s not kid ourselves, would exist.

I’ve also realized that I may not want someone in our apartment five to six days a week. Call me… well, call me American, but there is something slightly unsettling about a semi-stranger lurking about all day. I can managed to do a couple dishes every other day and pick up my own clothes.

So we told our ex-maid “Thank you but no thank you.” Because we were traveling in July and would be traveling again in September, we had already decided to have someone come only a few days a week until October, when my daughter and I return from the states.

Week 1 and I’m already liking it better. There’s no one to make me feel guilty for not wanting to sit down to a full table of lunch (which is one of the factors in my gaining 15 lbs since my feet hit the dirt here). There are only a couple days in which I need to avoid doing something in one room because it is actively being cleaned instead of five. And I hate to admit it, there is something soothing to the act of hanging clothes and wiping dishes.

But again, this is only week one. The early stage of divorce from our maid. We’ll see how I feel in the future.

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14 Responses to Update: Maidless

  1. Rachel says:

    I hated having someone here four days out of the week. I tried it only because my MIL insisted and it did not last very long. I have a wonderful woman twice a week and it’s perfect.

    I was wondering though, why did she quit in the first place?

  2. Long story – but basically after almost a year, I asked her to be at our place at a specific time and she didn’t show and I got mad. So she quit. (I wrote about it here: http://wp.me/sWiwb-maidless)
    It was my MIL as well that convinced me we needed someone every day. (Of course, when my MIL was staying with us, I had TWO people coming almost every day… and she kept the busy.) HA.

  3. Corinne says:

    Don`t take her back. There will be animosity and she will think you “need” her (because you took her back) and could start taking advantage. We had every day help (even Sundays) because we needed it with my mom’s health problems (nurse’s aids). When that situation changed, and I no longer had people in my house every day, I cannot tell you what a relief that was!! If it is just for cleaning, twice a week should be fine, max 3 times a week.

  4. Ana says:

    I think you can afford you should hire someone to work for you everyday.

    Its so good to have the house clean, tidy and organized!! She wont be able to clean all the toys , books , kitchen appliances , dust , iron all your clothes and sheets , clean thoroughly bathrooms and kitchen , etc if she goes only twice a week.

    Thats what I would do but u should do whatever works best for you of course 🙂

    • Well… now that you put it that way!! I know my husband is on the side of having someone everyday. We’ll have to reassess once we are back on a normal schedule post our trip to U.S. There are definitely pros and cons to each situation.

  5. Ray says:

    I think after 15 years living in the US independently, it would be very hard for us to get used to having someone else in our house all the time.
    Once or twice a week sounds great and you could always delegate the choirs you don’t like to do to your twice a week maid and do the rest yourself.
    Plus, living in the US for so long, we learn how to make a house more efficient where things are easier to be kept clean and tidy… 😉


    • It’s so funny. We had someone come once a week in NYC and it was great. Here, I began to become dependent on someone to do basic things – like picking up the numerous glasses and plates I use throughout the day. Here we also don’t have certain appliances – like a dishwasher (those I suppose we can just get one…)

  6. Peg says:

    Our two bedroom apartment is not huge, and our housekeeper comes just once a week on Saturdays. She takes about six hours to sweep & mop all the floors, dust, change all the bedding, scrub both bathrooms and the kitchen, wash two loads of laundry and iron all the clothes. Oh, and she washes our three big sliding glass doors and the patio. By the state of them, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t water the patio plants.

    I love it. All the big scrubbing is done for me, but I still keep myself feeling useful by doing all the daily dishes and picking up the little clutter we create. I know how to handle a broom and do the rest of the laundry. We don’t eat much, and I kind of like finally learning to cook so I don’t mind not having someone cook for us. I really think I wouldn’t be comfortable having someone in the house all the time. I guess I’m also way to American for that. It’s weird enough for me to have her here on Saturdays, so I usually go for a long walk during some of those hours.

    Looking forward to hearing how it goes as you get used to the change.

    • Yes, the woman we have coming now gets a lot done! She doesn’t sit down (either) all day. But of course, there are certain things she can’t get to. When we had our full-time person, we ALSO had another person (her sister) come every other week to do the “deep” cleaning. So things were darn clean. Not sure if we are going to miss the different between clean and darn clean or not.
      One of the things I definitely don’t miss is the cooking. For us, if the person doesn’t cook well, we wind up eating bad food. If they do cook well, we eat three times more than we usually would. It’s a no win situation. I’m better off just making myself a sandwich.

      • I agree with you on the food preparation. We also tend to cook ‘healthier’ than most, using less salt and less fat. It seems to me that having someone else cook every day is like going to a restaurant all the time- you have very little control over what you’re actually taking in.

  7. scrubgrub says:

    We have a live in and everyone think’s we are crazy. But she’s not a normal Brazilian maid and we have her doing things like an American. In fact sometimes she’ll be gone for half the day, which I prefer, and then I’ll wake up the next morning and my kitchen will be spotless. So for me having someone in the house isn’t too bad. But in all honesty if I didn’t work I don’t see why people need daily maids. One of the baba’s in the building offered to “take my kid to the park for me” when she saw me heading out with him and the stroller without “his baba” So I think Brazilians tend to think help a little more necessary than us Americans. I also do all the cooking, and just tell her what I want help with… is it wrong that sometimes it’s cutting the onions??

  8. HA! No, it’s perfect that someone is cutting the onions! If I go back to work, I’m sure I’ll get a live-in (just cause I won’t be around all day to be in the way). But first, I’d need to clean all the supplies out of the maid’s room! Ugh.

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